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2013 September 16 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Money Problems Stall Mass. Middle College Program

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A pilot program called “Middle College” that’s helped some New Bedford high school dropouts continue school can’t accept any new city students because of funding woes.

The program at Bristol Community College has received private and state funding during its first two years. But New Bedford’s cash-strapped school department says there’s no money for new students this year.

The free program for dropouts ages 16 to 21 helps them simultaneously earn academic credit toward their high school diploma and college degree.

Since the fall of 2011, 17 New Bedford students have graduated from high school and 10 have transferred to other schools and programs. Twenty-seven New Bedford students remain in the program.

Though New Bedford can’t enroll new students, Middle College is expanding in nearby Fall River.

  • Tenn. College Clears Professor Of Discrimination Charge

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP) — An in-house review of a professor’s class assignment on gay acceptance at Columbia State Community College concludes she didn’t discriminate.

The investigation cleared psychology professor Linda Brunton.

The college said Brunton asked, but did not require, students to wear rainbow ribbons to experience prejudice directed at gay people. The college released a statement and said there would be no additional comment.

“The college is satisfied with the investigation which yielded that the ribbon assignment was not mandatory, that the student’s first amendment rights were not infringed, and that there was no evidence of discrimination based on religious beliefs,” the statement read.

The investigation was conducted by Randy Elston, director of the Columbia State Human Resources Department. The investigation was undertaken after the Alliance Defending Freedom sent a complaint letter to Columbia State President Janet Smith.

The organization, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., describes itself online as “a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

  • Healthy Food Choices Debut at Ill. College

ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — Students at Elgin Community College are finding healthier food on the menu at the school’s Food for Thought cafe.

The eatery opened for the fall semester with a revamped menu, which includes items for health-conscious, gluten-free diners.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports the menu was developed by Maria Terry, who is the director of the school’s food services department.

She spent months touring other eateries and sampling recipes before developing the menu that includes wraps, smoothies and juices.

For example: the “pure pad thai” uses kelp noodles and almonds instead of rice noodles and peanuts.

Some of the fruits and vegetables on the menu are grown on the culinary department’s organic farm.

  • NC Colleges Agree On Cyber Partnership

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Students at Guilford Technical Community College are working with North Carolina A&T University to study cyber security.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported the schools have developed a research partnership.

The program brings the college's cybercrime technology program together to work with two computer science programs at the university.

Computer science department head Gerry Dozier says that students from the two schools will work on problems in cyber security and privacy.

Students in the technical college program already are learning how to retrieve information from computer hard drives, cellphones, tablets and other electronic devices. The information can be used in criminal and civil cases.

Researchers at North Carolina A&T are working on facial and iris recognition technology that could replace computer passwords and other security systems.

  • W. Va. College Gets $617K in NSF Funds

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (AP) — A total of $617,500 in federal funding is headed Bridgemont Community and Technical College for scholarships to students in its applied and engineering technology programs.

The funding is from a National Science Foundation program that provides grants to colleges and universities to promote those disciplines. The funding was announced by West Virginia U.S. Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall.

Rockefeller said so-called STEM studies offer tremendous promise for young West Virginians, while Manchin said those programs are essential to compete in the global marketplace.

Rahall called the funding an investment in “young minds.”

  • Kan. College Plans Agriculture Center

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Dodge City Community College is planning to build an agriculture learning center in hope of attracting more students and filling unmet needs in southwestern Kansas.

The project is in its earliest stages, as officials consider financing and a location.

A report by college president Don Woodburn says the center would initially include classrooms, offices and a student equestrian stable. Later additions would include barns, a breeding stable, greenhouses and an outdoor arena.

Officials envision the center also hosting 4-H and FFA events as well as college judging camps and contests.

They also believe the center would make Dodge City more attractive to prospective community college students, possibly attracting as many as 200 more each year.

  • NC Orders For-Profit To Halt Classes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s attorney general has told a for-profit educational company that charged students hundreds of dollars for health care courses even after losing its license to stop offering classes.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard S. Manning granted Attorney General Roy Cooper’s request for an order temporarily barring Thomas Healthcare Institute, Inc. and its owners from advertising or offering educational products or services.

According to Cooper’s complaint, the N.C. Board of Community Colleges revoked the institute’s license to teach in February for failing to meet required instructional and financial standards.

Even without the license, Cooper said Thomas Healthcare Institute continued to advertise and offer vocational and exam preparation courses in Greensboro and Raleigh.

Cooper wants a permanent ban on the company’s deceptive practices and refunds for students.

  • RI Study Finds High College Dropout Rate

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new study by state education officials has found a high college dropout rate among Rhode Island students.

The study by the state Office of Higher Education and the Department of Education found that 65 percent of students who enrolled in college were still attending by the start of the third semester.

The study followed 12,770 students who were in eighth grade in the 2005-06 school year. Of the nearly 9,000 who reached 11th grade on time, just over half later enrolled in state schools and 22 percent enrolled in other higher education institutions. But by the third semester, only 4,281 students, or 65 percent, were still enrolled.

Twenty-six percent didn’t enroll in higher education at all.

  • Tuition Deal Benefits La. College Faculty

NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — Northwestern State University and Central Louisiana Technical Community College have signed an agreement that allows CLTCC faculty and staff to attend classes at Northwestern State at a reduced tuition rate.

CLTCC employees must be degree-seeking full-time employees who meet standard admission requirements to Northwestern State.

Under the agreement, CLTCC employees may register for up to six credit hours per semester of undergraduate and graduate courses.

The agreement is valid for CLTCC faculty and staff on campuses in Alexandria, Cottonport, Winnfield, Jena, Leesville, Oakdale and Ferriday.

  • Iowa Group Seeks Minority Teachers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Education leaders in Des Moines have announced a partnership aimed at recruiting more minority teachers.

Des Moines Public Schools, Drake University and Des Moines Area Community College say the partnership will work to identify aspiring minority teachers and help them acquire the education needed to teach in Des Moines.

Students who complete the program and graduate with a teaching degree and endorsements will get a teaching job with Des Moines Public Schools.

Officials say there were only 10 percent of minority administrators at Des Moines Public Schools in the last school year. There were only 4.5 percent of minority certified teachers.

Members of the partnership, called 3D Coalition, have previously worked together to implement two federal grant programs that were also aimed at recruiting more minority teachers.

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